GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — If you drive down 3 Mile Road, you can't miss it. It's an eye-catcher.

"I've seen [people] stop, completely turn around and come by," homeowner David Kuras said.


Tree Butchering sign
This is the sign that Kuras has put in his yard to protest Consumers Energy.

"Just me being mad is putting it mildly," Kuras said. "This tree has been here since the house was built in the late 50s."

While Kuras was out of town, Consumer's Energy authorized Trees Inc. to cut down his Silver Maple tree. 

"This is my tree, it was a beautiful tree before it was cut and now it looks awful," Kuras said. "They said they didn't want any power outages. My tree was encroaching into their lines and that this is a standard cutting procedure and how all trees will be cut."

Consumers Energy is doing tree work to improve electric reliability on the city's northeast side after nearly 20 outages in the area since 2016.

RELATED: ‘Not again:’ NE Side neighborhood sees 18th power outage in three years

"They said this is a standard operating cutting procedure," Kuras said.

But Kuras said the way his tree looks is anything but standard.

"I'm trying to go through the Michigan Public Service Commission and through our commissioners and see if they could change some rulings on how they cut in the front neighborhoods because this looks awful," Kuras said.

Tree Consumers Energy
This is the Silver Maple tree that Kuras said Consumers Energy "butchered."

According to Consumer's Energy, Kuras was given several written and in-person notices before they cut the tree. He claims he never got a notice nor did anyone show up to his home and speak to him prior to trimming the tree.

The utility company says the trimming was done to standard and is overseen by the Michigan Public Service Commission. 

"East Grand Rapids or Heritage Hill—I said there's no way they'd allow that to happen there," Kuras said. "I will never see a tree like this in my lifetime, that's what bothers me the most. Once it's cut it's done."

Consumer's Energy says Kuras' tree was interfering with a significant power line which is why they cut it. The trimming and removal work is part of a $600,000 improvement project to improve electric reliability.

Consumers has this brochure posted on their website and it's also included in the mailings sent out to customers with trees potentially impacting power lines. A spokesperson for the utility company says the brochure was mailed out in April along with a letter notifying Kuras about his tree.

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